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Old 01-29-02, 08:13 AM   #1
duke22
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New to riding...need help

My husband and I have decided to purchase bikes. We will specifically use them for exercise around our neighborhood with occassional usage on trails. Neither one of us have riden a bike in 10+ years. So, we are clueless as to what bike we should purchase or what to look for.

We don't want to spend much money since this is a new hobby but we want a solid bike. Any suggestions? Is it even possible to spend less than $150 (USD) and get a good bike?

THANKS!
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Old 01-29-02, 08:20 AM   #2
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Welcome to the world's greatest sport. If you, hubby, or both are mechanically inclined, buy used bikes. The new bikes available on your budget will be heavy, clumsy, and unreliable. Decent new hybrids start around $300 or so.
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Old 01-29-02, 08:42 AM   #3
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If you're riding pretty much on the flat and you're not that mechanically minded you might get away with a pair of second-hand three-speeds (sealed hub) which are pretty reliable, but they tend to be a little heavy and aren't good for hills.

As John E said you're probably best off with a basic hybid (or maybe a mountain-bike with semi-slick tyres), but I think if you're going new you need to up the budget to get something that is both reliable and enjoyable to ride.

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Old 01-29-02, 08:58 AM   #4
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Welcome Duke22!

I hope you will enjoy riding, and this site as well! There is a wealth of information here, and if you can't find what you want, don't hesitate to ask!

I agree with the previous postings...check the papers, eBay, or my personal recommendation, your trusty local bike shop for some good used bikes. I currently own 5 bikes, and none of them are new. My first bike was a Fuji Sagres set up as a hybrid. It served me very well, and ignited my passion for biking, and only set me back $100!!

Be sure and read some of the other postings about bike fit. This is really very important for your comfort and enjoyment, and another reason to deal with a good bike shop. They should be able to make sure the bikes are properly adjusted for you.

Keep us posted, and most important, have fun!
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Old 01-29-02, 09:29 AM   #5
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Questions:
Are their hills or will you be riding hills?
What distance will you be riding?
Riding on pavement and sidewalks or just pavement?

The right tools for the right job. Most important the bike has to fit and be designed for the type of riding your doing. If its a low end bike that cannot be adjusted to work properly and is heavy you will never ride it. I have been back into it for a couple of years now and enjoy it very much.

The mistakes I made:
1- We bought XMart bikes, I ended up trading mine in at a bike shop and my wife got her money back on hers from XMart, it never worked properly even after being serviced at a bike shop.

2 - We underbought, get a good bike and buy it once not one that needs upgrading and buy a good Kryptonite D Lock.


Spend more than you want, it's a once every ten year or more purchase, keep it out of the weather and maintain it. Most of all ride it. It's a blast.
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Old 01-29-02, 09:32 AM   #6
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Welcome to the Forums. Hope you and Hubby can join us here on a regular basis.
I can only reinforce what the others have said about buying 2nd hand bikes. It's the only way you will get a near decent bike. (Please avoid k/mart; walmart; toyrus; or any mass merchant bike. They are not much better than junk.) A local bike shop --if they have used-- willl help you to choose one that FITS you. Fit is very important. If the bike is too small, or too big, it will be uncomfortable to ride; then you won't want to be on it and you'll regret the money spent.
Good luck to you both. Come on back with lots of questions. That's why we are all here --to help each other out and share ourr love of cycling.
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Old 01-29-02, 09:45 AM   #7
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Thanks for the info. We will be riding primarily on pavement with hills but on occassion some trails. Is there a certain type of bike that we should be looking at?

I have heard the terrible stuff about the discount stores so we will stay away.
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Old 01-29-02, 10:06 AM   #8
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If you are going to be riding pavement mostly and doing hills, then a mountain bike is out, there is nothing worse than going up a hill with your suspension fork bobbing up and down.
A good hybrid is what you are looking for. Trek makes a few good ones, fisher makes some too. I would suggest looking at Giants, you get good bang for your buck with Giant. The best thing would be to go to your local bike shop and talk with the people there. This would be good because A) you can decide whether you like the shop or not, and B) they get to know you and what kind of riding you want to do, and with this info they can serve you better.
It's my personal view that unless you know what you are doing, and are willing to put some work and money into it, don't go with used. Unless it is a fairly new used bike(2-3 years old). If you do get used, ask one of the employees at your bike shop to go take a look at it with you, or ask your bike shop if they know someone who would be willing to go with you. The guys at the bike shop might not be willing to go look at the bike with you though, because they would rather have you buy a bike from them.
Ask as many questions as you need, all the members here are experienced riders who have asked many question themselves, and answered many questions. Answering questions is what we do...
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Old 01-29-02, 10:08 AM   #9
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A CROSS or HYBRID bike might be your best starting point. They have thin tires but you can also mount fatter ones if needed. They have mountain type handlebars, longer wheelbase and a bit better at absorbing road vibration.

I'm sure you'll get some more opinions on this.
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Old 01-29-02, 10:33 AM   #10
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Hills require a reasonably lightweight bike, a triple chainring, good quality cranks and pedals(cheap ones creak) and drop handlebars for windy days. I live where its either uphill or downhill and an upright riding position is not very good. If the hills are not very steep a hybrid or comfort bike would work. The lighter the bike the skinnier the tires the easier hills are.
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Old 01-29-02, 10:36 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by fubar5
If you are going to be riding pavement mostly and doing hills, then a mountain bike is out, there is nothing worse than going up a hill with your suspension fork bobbing up and down.
A good hybrid is what you are looking for. Trek makes a few good ones, fisher makes some too. I would suggest looking at Giants, you get good bang for your buck with Giant. ...
Whilst I wouldn't get a full-suspension mountain bike for up hills, I don't find a suspension fork (hardtail) makes that much difference on the up hills, it'll only start bobbing if you're pedalling is quite uneven or you're really pedalling hard. On most hills my fork barely moves. It probably does depend on the fork though...

Also a few mountain bikes still come with non-suspension forks.

I'll agree with Fubar on Giant though, I ended up with a Giant on a budget and have been pretty happy with it - the frames are generally pretty good for the money, and whilst at the low-end the components are very much entry level, the overall package is a good deal and you can always upgrade bits if you get into it.

You probably are best off with a hybrid but I wouldn't rule out mountain bikes with road tyres if they happen to fit your budget better.

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Old 01-29-02, 10:40 AM   #12
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This is all the bike you need..At the convenient price of 3700 bones.
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Old 01-29-02, 10:42 AM   #13
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It probably does depend on the fork though...

Richard
Yeah, that makes sense. My fork has 4 inches of travel, it bobs mostly when I'm out of the saddle.
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Old 01-29-02, 10:51 AM   #14
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I think I found your bike, but we'll need to ask for money.
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Old 01-29-02, 10:52 AM   #15
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In the region of your budget, spend as much as you can. This is the range where small increases go a long way to a more reliable, better functioning, lighter bike.
Dont forget to budget for a helmet ($30 ones work as well as $130), and gloves are useful if you take a spill on a trail.

All hybrid bikes are geared sufficiently for trail and hills. MTB bikes in your price range are not true off road machines, and there is, in reality little difference.

Be sure to get bike the right size, even if they are different makes or styles. If you are small, then a smaller wheeled machine (ie MTB wheels) may fit you better. How tall are you ?

Any of the big brands are fine, and there are many fine smaller brands, but avoid some really low end junk.
I have seen low end suspension seatposts regularly come lose, and make cycling difficult. IMHO you should stay away from any suspension and spend the money on better lighter bikes.

If you can get a nearly new bike 2nd hand, that may be good, but it is only worth getting good quality (ie new $500) bikes that way.

Pick a good bike store, try out some of the bikes for fit and weight. Dont be fooled by highly padded "comfy" saddles. More experienced riders understand that shape, not soft padding makes a good saddle. Note the brand and model, and if possible, the grade/names of the components (eg Shimano Altus). Post it back for a 2nd opinion.
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Old 01-29-02, 10:53 AM   #16
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I meant its expensive, maybe rainman can kick in a little cash.

(also check out the Novarra Buzz at REI sporting goods stores, a little less expensive)
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Old 01-29-02, 10:59 AM   #17
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Speaking of REI, they make some really nice womens bikes for neighbourhood/trail riding.
Womens bikes are designed to be shorter for the same height, and in the smaller sizes, use smaller components for a good fit.

I really like REI own brand stuff; their Novarra touring bike is expedition worthy, and very good value.
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Old 01-29-02, 11:57 AM   #18
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You might also talk to a local bike club.They may have classifieds or know of someone selling a good bike.
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Old 01-29-02, 12:18 PM   #19
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New comes with a warranty, usually up to 1 year of tune ups and adjustments (some shops less), an owners manual, usually a discount on parts and accessories (one shop around here gives 15% for a year), and bike shop mechanics that are more likely to work on your bike while you wait if you bought it their. I've never had good experiences buying from a guy a friend knows or worse yet a friend. I would only suggest very knowledgeable people shop used.
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Old 01-29-02, 01:38 PM   #20
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Diamondback, you know that Cannondale Badboy isn't as cool as the Rocky Mountain RM7 Freeride!!!! Ha ha..Going up a hill on a RM7 might be pretty close to hell.
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Old 01-29-02, 02:05 PM   #21
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RM7s a great bike, got a motorcycle style look to it. Perfect for a beginner. Does that bike come with a parachute for those really big drops.
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Old 01-29-02, 02:07 PM   #22
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Hey fubar5, my nephew is at bragg, nc. Plays with those big guns.
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Old 01-29-02, 03:24 PM   #23
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Hey fubar5, my nephew is at bragg, nc. Plays with those big guns.

Fort Bragg? He freerides?
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Old 01-29-02, 03:27 PM   #24
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sort of he jumps out of helicopters, doesn't use a bike though.

I won't get into or jump out of a perfectly good aircraft.
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Old 01-29-02, 03:38 PM   #25
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In addition to Giant bicycles, check out the Specialized HardRock, which is made by Giant, as are many other low-to-mid-range bikes. I agree that proper fit is perhaps the single most important issue in bicycle selection. With any major long-term purchase, I believe that it is better to overbuy than to underbuy.
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